Indiana police announced the arrest of a suspect Monday in the 2017 murders of two teenage girls in Delphi, Indiana, a case that has puzzled the community and online crime sleuths for years.
Richard M. Allen, 50, of Delphi, was arrested on two counts of murder in the February 2017 deaths of Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13, and Liberty “Libby” German, 14, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter announced Monday.
“Today is not a day to celebrate,” Carter said, noting the arrest is “a major step in leading to a conclusion in this long term and complex investigation.”
He said Allen was arrested Friday and is being held without bond.
Carter said limited details will be released on the arrest to protect the integrity of the case and investigation. Officials did not explain what evidence led them to arrest Carter.
He explained the probable cause affidavit and charging documents have been temporarily sealed as “this investigation is far from complete.”
Officials said in the news conference that Allen had his initial hearing and entered a preliminary not guilty plea. A pre-trial date is set for Jan. 13, 2023 and a trial date is slated for March 20, 2023.
Williams and German vanished while hiking in their hometown of Delphi, about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis.
They were dropped off at an abandoned rail bridge on Feb. 13, 2017 to walk around and hang out, according to police. But when it was time to be picked up from the area, they never showed.
Their bodies were found Feb. 14, 2017 in a wooded area near the Delphi Historic Trail, a half mile upstream from the bridge.
For years police worked to find the girls’ killer and previously said the assailant may have had close connections to Delphi, a city of about 3,000 people.
Police previously released two sketches of a suspect.
They also released grainy photos of a person walking on an old railroad bridge the girls visited on their hiking trip with audio of a male saying, “Down the hill” taken from Liberty’s cellphone.
The photo appeared to depict a white male wearing blue jeans, a blue coat/jacket, and a hoodie, who police said was believed to be a suspect in the homicides.
This is a developing story. Please return for updates.